Why Accurate Shipment Weights Matter
You’ve filled out all the forms, packed your goods and arranged pickup. You’re all set for a successful shipment – or so you think.
Despite your and our best efforts to provide the most detailed information possible on the bill of lading (BOL), freight adjustments can happen from time to time. An adjustment is when the carrier corrects inaccurate shipment specs, which can result in additional charges. Weight adjustments are one of the most commonly disputed adjustments in this industry.
When a carrier weighs a shipment at its facility, it completes a Weight Inspection Certificate, also called a Scale ticket. This documents the shipment’s official weight in transit and is the basis of any weight adjustment. If there is a dispute about the weight of a shipment, a Scale ticket is the first document that we request from our carrier and then forward to our customers.
So what can you do if there is a dispute? If you feel that you provided an accurate weight, you must first provide an invoice or packaging slip, proving that the freight that was shipped was the freight listed on the BOL and that the order matches the paperwork. But the most important thing you can do should have happened before the shipment was sent out, and that is to weigh the shipment yourself before you release it to the carrier.
Scale Your Shipment
It’s common practice for shippers to calculate the weight of an order by weighing one item on the pallet and multiplying that weight by the number of items on the pallet to calculate the total weight of shipment. This is not a foolproof method of determining a shipment’s weight, and it can leave you, the shipper, vulnerable because you don’t have a physically recorded weight of the items “as shipped”.
If the only party to physically weigh the freight is the carrier it is nearly impossible to convince them of an error because your weight calculation was not “as shipped”. So, it’s very important to have all of your “ducks in a row”, and ideally have your goods physically weighed before they are handed over to the carrier.
Beyond its importance in adjustment disputes, having the accurate weight shown on the BOL is very important to ensure safe shipment. Accurate weights ensure that trucks are loaded correctly with the weight evenly distributed over the axles to avoid any safety issues.
C&D Logistics helps you get it right
If a weight dispute does occur, you can count on C&D Logistics to notify you right away. Our in-house claims and disputes team will help you manage the process and settle the issue as quickly as possible. However, the best way to manage weight disputes is to avoid them altogether and cover your bases by scaling the freight correctly and having proper documentation. Make absolutely sure that the height, weight and classification of your shipment are as accurate as possible on the BOL.
Work with C&D’s team of experts to help you make the best decisions for your shipments. Call us Toll Free at 1.855.334.4440 to learn more about how we put our values into action, and how we can save you money and time on all of your logistics needs.